It is possible to look for particular tax records and not find them for whatever reason. Fortunately, one can get these tax return/account transcripts from the IRS by phone, by mail, or online. However, there are certain key things one must know about retrieving past tax information from the IRS:
- It is possible to order tax transcripts online or by phone for the past three years as well as the current year. For previous tax years, one must make the request with the 4506T-EZ Form.
- Use the IRS online tool “Order a Transcript” to request for either of the tax transcripts from the agency’s website. Or call 800-908-9946 to place your order by phone and follow the instructions. The transcript will then be mailed to your current record address. However, if you want it mailed to a different address, fill and mail the Request for Transcript of Tax Return Form 4506-T. Also remember that the IRS gives these transcripts free of charge.
- The tax return transcript shows most of the line items that were originally present in your tax return those years ago. This includes forms and schedules that were attached. The transcript does not reflect any adjustments made after the return was filed.
- The tax account transcript reflects the later adjustments, made by either you or the IRS, after the tax was filed. The transcript’s content includes basic data like marital status, type of return and the adjustments (adjusted gross and taxable income).
- For the 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ tax return transcripts, you should fill the 4506T-EZ Form by mail. Otherwise, Form 4506T should be used by all individuals, partnerships and businesses requesting for tax information on other forms.
- It is faster to order by phone or online as it only takes between 5 and 10 calendar days from the day your request is received by the IRS. On the other hand, it takes up to 30 days for delivery of a transcript ordered by mail, either using Form 4506T or Form 4506T-EZ.
- You can still get the actual copy of a previously filed tax return, if you need it, but at a cost ($57 per year). This request can be done by mail, just fill the 4506 Form, mail it to the IRS and wait for 60 days. The agency often has copies for the current year as well as the previous six years.